Australia v Italy, Rugby World Cup, September 11
Australia opt for consistency
ESPNscrum Staff
September 8, 2011
Australia's James O'Connor looks aghast in training, Wallabies training session, Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban, South Africa, August 10, 2011
James O'Connor is back in the mix after returning from suspension © Getty Images

Australia coach Robbie Deans has named the same starting XV that secured the Tri-Nations crown against New Zealand last month for their opening Rugby World Cup clash against Italy on Sunday.

Daniel Vickerman and Radike Samo, therefore, retain their places at lock and No.8 respectively after strong performances against the All Blacks, particularly from the Reds back-rower who scored a try in his first start since 2004.

The only change comes on the bench where winger James O'Connor returning ahead of Rob Horne who drops out of the matchday 22. Meanwhile Tatafu Polota-Nau is preferred to Saia Fainga'a as cover at hooker.

Italy coach Nick Mallett makes two changes to the side that lost to Scotland in their final Rugby World Cup warm up game. Alessandro Zanni returns to the blindside of the scrum ahead of Paul Derbyshire, who drops to the bench.

In the only other change to the starting XV, Leonardo Ghiraldini takes over at hooker in place of Fabio Ongaro while Luke McLean comes onto the bench as Mallett opts for extra cover in the backs with Joshua Furno left out of the matchday squad.

Australia: Kurtley Beale; Adam Ashley-Cooper, Anthony Fainga'a, Pat McCabe, Digby Ioane; Quade Cooper, Will Genia; Sekope Kepu, Stephen Moore, Ben Alexander; Dan Vickerman, James Horwill; Rocky Elsom, David Pocock, Radike Samo.

Replacements: Tatafu Polota-Nau, James Slipper, Rob Simmons, Ben McCalman, Scott Higginbotham, Luke Burgess, James O'Connor.

Italy: Andrea Masi: Tommaso Benvenuti, Gonzalo Canale, Gonzalo Garcia, Mirco Bergamasco; Luciano Orquera, Fabio Semenzato; Andrea Lo Cicero, Leonardo Ghiraldini, Martin Castrogiovanni; Carlo del Fava, Cornelius van Zyl; Alessandro Zanni, Robert Barbieri, Sergio Parisse (c)

Replacements: Tommaso D'Apice, Lorenzo Cittadini, Marco Bortolami, Paul Derbyshire, Edoardo Gori, Riccardo Bocchino, Luke McLean

Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)

Assistant referees: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa), Chris Pollock (NZ)

Television Match Official: Giulio De Santis (Italy)

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